Saturday, May 8, 2021
Saturday, May 1, 2021
The deed is done. The carpet is installed in our basement office, my studio and the stairs leading down to the basement. Whew! I paced myself over the 10 days prior to last Tuesday’s installation date to move all my fabrics (and tools, WIPs, and accessories) to the spare downstairs bedroom. The drawers from the office desk, plus all the office supplies storage, closet storage and the CD storage (which looks like an old library case) were moved over that time as well. Then, last Saturday we had to move two large and VERY HEAVY bins of food storage (a Christmas gift from my son Shane a year ago). The first bin we slid to the three little steps leading down to Bruce’s laboratory, and let gravity do the work. For the second one, Bruce wanted each of us to grab one side handle and lift and carry it. I know how to lift with my legs instead of my back, but I used my right arm and re-injured my neck and shoulder (we ended up sliding it down like the first bin). I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome too, so even just overuse of my arm and shoulder can aggravate my neck. I was down for three and a half days days nursing my neck with a heating pad, ice, Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Lying in bed offered the best relief for a couple days, but by Tuesday I was up and moving. I’m almost back to normal now, just using Extra Strength Tylenol. Yesterday I went grocery shopping, mopped floors, did a load of laundry and made 3 pints of strawberry-rhubarb compote, so it was a very good energy day.
Regarding the carpet, though, I don’t have any pictures yet. It’s a medium-toned gray/taupe, very plush and thick carpet. But it’s not really done. They are coming back on May 13 to install the coving, which is basically carpet baseboards. It had to have the edge finish cording (or whatever it’s called) stitched to it first. Once that is done, I’ll take pictures. And yes, I’ll have to move my fabric again so they can move the bookcases out from the wall to install it. But there isn’t really anything heavy for us to move (they do it), so in the studio it’s business as usual - and anything that isn’t needed can stay in temporary exile until mid-May.
So let’s move on to more Quilty things, shall we?
I did get my two Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts quilted and finished. These were the windmill (Twin Sisters) blocks I worked on for RSC2020. First is the gender-neutral quilt (darker colors, no pink).
It was quilted with a viney loop and backed with a polka-dot backing fabric from Connecting Threads.
The second quilt had the pinks, pastels, florals, etc. - more girly.
Sew together the “new” 9-patch, then once again cut into four equal quadrants.
Arrange your quadrants in any manner you like!
So now I have 8 of 12 of the original blocks sewn and chopped, and this is what I’ve got so far. The blocks at this point measure 8” and will finish at 7.5”.
I’m going to set them 6 across by 7 down so that I’ll have six leftover blocks. I’m thinking there are at least 4 blocks (from one original 9-patch block) that will be too ghastly to include on the front. But they’ll end up on the back and I’ll be done with them! This quilt still won’t be a “looker”, but it will be a serviceable donation quilt.
Before that finishes up, however, I’ll be getting a start on my Red May RSC blocks. Here are some of the things I plan to work on in the merry, merry month of May. My red scrap bin runneth over. It’s sitting on some red orphan blocks.
Two more prospective red kid quilts: alphabet and bees.
And finally, some red and navy large HSTs for another yet-to-be-designed kid quilt.
Our May is starting out much better than last year. Last week we passed the one year anniversary of Bruce’s arm amputation. Who’d have thought he’d be playing guitar and banjo this year? We’re celebrating his birthday (Monday) with his favorite; mud pie from Baskin-Robbins. We’ve invited some of the family over to help us eat it. There was no way to order just one piece each for ourselves, and death by chocolate is not an option.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
But by this time next week I hope to have it all carpeted and all my stuff returned to normal. Fingers crossed. They said it would take two days - one to lay the carpet in the rooms, and the other to do the coving (which requires special woven borders) and the light cutouts on the stairs.
In the meantime, I did get a bit of stitching done. I quilted a Halloween quilt that Cousin Kim assembled. I don’t have a picture of it yet because she hasn’t added the binding yet. Anyway, I plan to show the last several quilts that Kim has finished in an upcoming blog post - she’s been on a finishing tear these last three months.
But Purple Posies did get basted, quilted and bound. Yay! In fact, it’s coming with me today (along with about 17-18 other quilts) to our Quilts for Kids workshop this morning. The weather looks threatening in this picture, but it had been beautiful all day and then clouded up about a half hour before this picture. We hurried out to get a picture (I also wanted a picture of the blossoms on the tree before the storm hit) before it began raining. Only it didn’t rain. A half hour after this picture, it was bright and sunny again. Pffffft......
Last week I was having tension issues with my machine. I had tried adjusting everything and cleaning and oiling as per usual. Nothing had helped. But my friend Pat suggested using canned air to blow out the tension discs. I hadn’t thought of that. Once I did that, the issues disappeared! Who knew? I made a quilt sandwich and played with my walking foot, free motion foot - just playing and speeding, etc. Perfecto! YAY!! Thanks, Pat. That precipitated my quilting frenzy this week!
Since this is the last Saturday of April, I’m linking up with Scrappy Saturday at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Here are the light blue scrappy blocks that I finished this month.
The second flimsy contains the pinks and more of the floral and pastel blocks, again measuring 42x48”.
I had a piece of multi-colored polka-dot backing fabric in my stash that split perfectly in half to make the backing for these two tops.
Finally, last weekend we had dinner with son Ryan and his wife Kim, plus our two grands Lauren (17) and Easton (22) at their place. Ryan is becoming an excellent cook/chef! He reads and watches a lot of cooking shows and experiments with new recipes. And the new gadgets (special grills, meat grinders, etc) attest to that. That evening we had birria tacos (I hadn’t heard of them before this) and they were to die for. OMG, my mouth waters just thinking of them. My DIL Kim wisely lets him do the cooking! Anyway, we celebrated the March birthdays (me and Ryan) and Lauren’s April birthday. Easton is graduating from Utah State University in two weeks, and we will attend his (virtual) graduation. In June we’ll have a real, in-person family gathering/send-off for him as he heads out to New Hampshire to begin naval officer school and their nuclear engineering program.
Life is good.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Hi! How was your week? We were sure busy here at Chez Kizerian. We’ve been talking about starting up some of the home improvements we’ve put off over the last year or more because of Covid. It’s true that we have an eye toward downsizing in the next couple years, but these improvements are things we want now for ourselves even if only for a couple years. Plus we need to maintain the home and put its best foot forward when the time to sell does come.
So, on Monday we went to Home Depot and selected new carpet. They came to measure on Wednesday, and we had a quote on Thursday. We went in and paid for it on Thursday and then got a call from the installers that same day wanting to install it next week. Wait, WHAT?!? I’ve got whiplash from the speed! (Two years ago when we ordered new doors for my studio it took them over five months to deliver and install). I pushed back the installation a week until Tuesday the 27th, which will give me time to move all my fabric and sh*stuff into the spare bedroom. The installers will move the furniture out (tables and bookcases and a desk in the office) and put them back. Needless to say, I have had a lot of work (1) decluttering the spare bedroom to make way for things to be temporarily moved in and (2) starting to move books, fabric and all the sewing paraphernalia from the studio into the bedroom.
But for now I’m still sewing away! A week from today is our next Quilts for Kids workshop, and I will have somewhere between 16-18 quilts to take to them, depending on what I can finish up in the next week. Three of the quilts were made and donated by my friend Terri, and the rest are made by me from scraps.
I finished up some Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for Blue April and am linking up to the Scrappy Saturday link-up party. First, 24 “chips” at 4.5” square:
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Happy Saturday! I’d like to start out by wishing everyone (who celebrates) a Happy Easter or Passover (which ends tomorrow) or Ramadan (which isn’t for another week or so).... or whatever. Since it’s just Bruce and me here (no family gatherings yet), all we’re doing is having a bit of a fancy dinner on Sunday. Yeah, don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually going to fix an entire meal with all the fixin’s. I’ll try not to make a habit of it.
It was a great week because we got to visit with our friend Terri for an hour or two. She was planning to be in the neighborhood, so we *finally* got to exchange Christmas gifts and birthday gifts from the last few months. We’re all fully vaccinated, and since it’s safe to meet with family and friends (and Terri qualifies as both), we got to talk and laugh and HUG! It was so awesome, and definitely a high point in our week.
Also, Alfie and Darla got a great order from Chewy this week. After I unpacked the box, they got to play with their favorite item - the empty box! But they loved their toys, too, and have been crazily playing with those as well. I also ordered and received compostable litter bags, so I never ever have to scrounge plastic bags again. YAY!!
Another new month means we get another color of scraps to work with for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. To go along with our sunny blue spring skies, Angela has chosen light and bright blues for our April scrap color. Yay! I was almost afraid to go down into my studio for fear that those blue scraps had taken over!!
Last week I showed you a quilt that I was going to try to squeeze in as a finish before the end of March. Well, I finished it just before dinner on the 31st, so I was able to chalk up 9 quilt finishes in March. It’s just another string quilt, with some solid green and yellow blocks (spring!) thrown in to calm it down a bit. Stipple quilting, usual 42x48” size. Labeled and added to the pile for Quilts for Kids.
Then it was time to happily change gears from greens to blues. Lots of stuff here to keep me busy for April! That dark blue/mixed blue pile in the picture below is the scraps from the scrap bin. I sorted out all the darks and put those away for another month. We’re just keeping it light and bright for now. Also, I put away the blue rain/umbrella fabric (extreme right) because that’s yardage and I can always work with that another time or use it as a backing. The large pieces of blue and brown letters (left top) and the blue solid on top of it were a 100% cotton curtain (lined) I bought at the thrift store a couple months ago. There’s enough there to back 4 quilts.
First I decided to go through everything and divide the scraps into piles of like things. There will be a nautical quilt, a sock monkeys quilt, and a dinosaur (-ish) quilt of blues and browns. I had some smaller scraps of pink princesses on blue and some extra sock monkey fabric, so that’s where I started. After all, what goes better with princesses than sock monkeys?
I had to pull in some other bits and squares from my stash, but this is what it looks like as I’m finally sewing the top together. It’s going to be called Princesses and Monkeys (or maybe The Princess and The Monkey - like a fable or something?)
I had some light blue string blocks in my stash, but not enough. So, the first thing I did for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was to sew my light blue strings into more blocks. I made 18 blocks at 6.5” unfinished, and I forgot to get a picture. Dang! Anyway, six of them were added to the ones I already had for the quilt above, and the other dozen will hang out until called upon to serve. Princesses and Monkeys should finish up this week and I’ll start on one of the next quilts in between RSC blocks.
The light blue Momcat and her kittens showed up this week as well. You’ll notice that Momcat and one of her kittens are made of cat fabric!
The real challenge is with the larger blocks that were the second part of the lot. These are 12.5” blocks and considerably older and uglier. There were 14 blocks, but one I just had to throw away because it was stained in several places. The remaining 13 got separated into two groups of six each, with one leftover.
I ended up taking apart the two green and pink blocks in the left group and moved the pinks squares over to the pink/red/blue group on the right. The gold and red block at the bottom was also taken apart, with the gold staying with the left green/gold/brown group and the red moving to the red/pink/blue group.
Then I pulled some fabric candidates for additional patches for each group. I think I can make enough supplemental blocks for each group, then “sash the hell” out of them (as Cousin Kim and I say...) and get two kids’ quilts as a result. As an alternative, I’ve also considered making them into Disappearing 9-Patch blocks because making these disappear might be the kindest thing I could do! Stay tuned. It’s ugly, but it will be fun!
We spent one morning this week working out in the yard - cleaning garbage and leaves and debris. It was so good to move and stretch and feel the sunshine. We’ve also gone on some nice walks this week and even had our first Barnes & Noble coffee/book date in over a year! Life is good.